arts and health practice in healthcare Arts and Mental Health CAMHS Child & Family Psychology iTHRIVE

11 ways to engage with the GM i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme

Children’s services are being transformed by the THRIVE Framework for system change. As interest in arts and health continues to grow, Manchester has a strong history of such work, and Greater Manchester i-THRIVE is the only site nationwide with a dedicated Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme.

This programme links across the whole system as well as with wider GM programmes to support people who work with children, young people and families to understand and embed creative options. Here’s our Implementation Story on the national website. We share research and practice through our Community of Practice, and offer training across sectors. We have delivered a series of arts-led proof of concepts (hosted by NHS statutory services) and co-produced an evaluation kit with the cultural sector. Our new Working Group provides system leadership to drive the aims of the programme.

This post provides a guide to engaging with the Programme. Wherever you work, or if you’re just interested in understanding or applying the research on arts and health, join us as we continue to broaden the clinical offer with quality, blended, clinical creative options for children, young people and families.

10 ways you can engage with the GM i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme

  1. Download our Programme Briefing paper to understand the work (PDF)
  2. Become an Arts, Culture and Mental Health Ambassador to receive monthly resources
  3. Access the archives of Ambassador resources.
  4. Use our co-produced GM i-THRIVE Youth Mental Health Arts and Culture Evaluation Kit to help articulate your impact in a way that appeals to commissioners
  5. Read or download the case study on our arts-led proof of concept projects in CAMHS.
  6. Complete and share our 30 minute eLearning module to understand the science and the evidence.
  7. Access our 90 minute workshop ‘Implementing cultural options in children’s services’ with over 70 GM colleagues for practical and commissioning content.
  8. Download two editions of Creative Care Kits, developed with 26 partners led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority to support wellbeing through creative activity and mental health tips during the pandemic.
  9. Watch and share the 5 minute short film ‘Well?’ on what young people say about the role of the arts in mental health and wellbeing.
  10. Join our GM i-THRIVE Community of Practice
  11. Keep in touch! We offer direct support to our Ambassadors to develop the creative offer.
    Twitter: @GMiTHRIVE | @communikatt

I'm a British clinical psychologist with a research background. I manage the Greater Manchester i-THRIVE Arts, Culture and Mental Health Programme, part of the national transformation of children's services. I also have an NHS clinical role in Lancaster and Morecambe working with children, young people and families (CAMHS). I began this blog in 2017 to record a WCMT Travelling Fellowship, from a research role at Arts for Health, Manchester Metropolitan University. I began clinical psychology training (DCLinPsy, Lancaster) in 2010, and studied the role of creativity in bipolar disorder, because of the known links, and partly due to my own experiences of creatively managing extremes of mood in adolescence and throughout my 20s. I have worked in several university psychology research departments including Manchester University in suicide prevention, the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University (notable for service user expertise), and on the Dementia & Imagination research programme.

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